We have over 200 bones that make up our skeletal system. Bones are at their strongest at around age thirty and thereafter their strength and integrity begins to decline. Maintaining bone strength is extremely important as you age, to prevent your bones becoming weak and brittle, and to prevent osteoporosis.
WHAT IS OSTEOPOROSIS?
Osteoporosis is a serious condition in which the bones become weak and fragile, leading to a higher risk of fractures than in normal bones. This occurs when bones lose minerals, such as calcium, more quickly than the body can replace them.This leads to a loss of bone thickness ( ie. loss of bone mass or density). As the bones become thinner and less dense, even a minor bump or accident can cause serious fractures.
The most common sites affected by osteoporosis are bones in the hip, spine, wrist, pelvis and upper arm. Osteoporosis is often called the ‘ silent disease’ , as usually there are no signs or symptoms that bones are thinning until a fracture occurs.
Recent statistics show that in Australia, 1 in 2 women and 1 in 3 men over the age of 60 years of age will have an osteoporotic fracture in their lifetime.
RISK FACTORS FOR OSTEOPOROSIS
- Drinking excess amounts of alcohol
- Not getting enough sunlight exposure
- Leading a sedentary lifestyle
- Eating a diet low in calcium
Calcium is a vital mineral required for the formation of strong bones, as it helps increase the density and strength of bones. However, many people do not get their recommended daily intake (RDI) of calcium from their diet. Fortunately if you are not getting enough calcium from your diet, it can be taken in the form of a natural supplement.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE BEST FORM OF CALCIUM IS?
Not all calcium supplements are created equal. Microcrystalline hydroxyapetite is a form of calcium shown to be superior to other forms of calcium. This form of calcium has been shown to be very well absorbed and highly effective in the management of osteoporosis. As well as calcium, microcrytalline hydroxyapetite also contains all the natural elements of healthy bone, including silica, boron, type 1 collagen, zinc, manganese, copper, and all the important GAGS ( glycosaminoglycans ). GAGS are proteins upon which bone tissue is built, and are not present in other types of calcium supplements.
NUTRIENTS TO BUILD BONES
The following herbs, vitamins and minerals also help to keep the bones healthy and strong:
- Epimedium – Is a herb shown to enhance bone strength, by stimulating the activity of the cells that are responsible for bone formation.
- Vitamin D – Is required for the absorption of calcium and phoshorus. it is necessary for the proper growth and developement of bones.
- MAGNESIUM – Is an important mineral for the growth and strength of bone. Correct levels of magnesium are needed to ensure the proper utilisation of calcium in the growth of bones.
There are some simple diet and lifestyle changes that you can make to reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis:
- Eat a diet rich in high calcium foods, including dairy, almonds, buckwheat, egg yolk, green leafy vegetables, and sardines.
- Increase the amount of weight bearing exercise you do each week ( e.g walking )
- Quite smoking
- Decrease alcohol intake
- Make sure you get some mild sun exposure ( i.e just 10 to 15 minutes most days ) to increase your natural vitamin D production.
For advise on diet and lifestyle modifications as well as the best supplements to minimise your risk of developing osteoporosis and bone fractures, come and see me today for an appointment.